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Tracking Girl

TRACKING GIRL - WHAT'S THAT? A girl, woman, lady, female person who is a Tracking Enthusiast :-). And, what, you might ask, is a "Tracking Enthusiast"? Well, to begin with, tracking enthusiasts are often thought of as nuts, to put it baldly. We like to go out at the crack of dawn or even in pitch dark, in all kinds of weather conditions from pouring rain to freezing snow, to train with our tracking dogs. It's all about The Nose. Click on my Blog to find out more.
February 24, 2016 12:14PM

Personally tested while out in the snowy fields - HotHands2 hand warmers won the heat challenge, staying warm 3 hours longer than Grabber brand warmers. If you want your hands to stay comfy while out in the cold give them a try.

October 29, 2015 09:44PM

Whoo hoo!!! I am thrilled to report that my Belgian Tervuren "Rummy" is now AKC Tracking Certified. She earned her certification in Cortland NY on October 24, 2015, under Judge Debbie Maheu. A big thank you to the Finger Lakes Kennel Club for putting on a great event. It was a coooooold morning with a strong, icy wind, but the fields were lush and it was a beautiful setting. Five out of the seven entries passed. The Certification Test is identical to the Tracking Dog or TD test, and proves that the dog is ready for the TD. With certification, you get 4 certificates good for one year. Now I can enter Tracking Dog tests, Each time I enter a TD test, I must send a certificate in with the entry. If Rummy does not pass the Tracking Dog test in four attempts, she will then need to re-certify. She only has to pass it once for her full title. So, basically this means we are halfway there :-)). Very proud of my girl. Note to self - next time wear boots with better traction, we were flying downhill for the last leg, I was literally running to keep up so as not to fall on my face. So exciting when she found the glove!!!

September 20, 2015 09:17PM

The Power of Peeps. If you wish to get into a tracking test be sure to get all your friends to eat Peeps. Jalapeno Peeps are the most powerful. Just sayin.

September 03, 2015 07:21PM

Check out this super video: "How Dogs See With The Noses" by Alexandra Horowitz and her creative team on TED-Ed. Except for the part in the beginning about how dogs see in shades of gray and have trouble differentiating yellows and blues, neither of which is actually true according to the recent research on canine vision I have read, this is a fun and educational video with animation and illustrations of how dogs can smell the past, the future and things that can't be seen at all. Highly recommend!

April 26, 2015 09:32AM

Glad I track up north-a-ways. Never thought about the possible hazards of fields in the deep south until a friend in Alabama told me about her track last week. Her dog was having trouble at the start but finally found the track and got going. Later when she went back to pick up the start flag she spotted a ginormous snake just a few feet away !!! It was dead but still!!! How the heck did she not see this?

April 08, 2015 09:12AM

At last! The ice has melted. Break out the rubber boots and head for the fields...

March 10, 2015 02:12PM

Finally! I think that thing up in the sky is called the sun? Now waiting for the ice to melt so I can get out and start tracking again!

January 28, 2015 09:46PM

Okay, enough snow, I'm ready for spring.

December 26, 2014 02:46PM

Oh rain, rain, please don't take my snow away!

November 27, 2014 11:25AM

What do you do when you're in upstate New York, its 17 degrees F out with a 30 mile an hour wind and Lake Effect snow is coming in hard? What a silly question. Go tracking with your dog! If you have the gear you have nothing to fear, except for maybe looking like a staypuff marshmallow person or a desperate bandito.

November 27, 2014 11:42AM

Even if you've never heard of Tracking, you may have noticed that all dogs love to smell things. They have an awesome sense of smell far beyond our meager capabilities as humans. For dogs, smelling stuff as they walk along is like reading the newspaper.

This amazing ability of dogs is useful for us humans, too. Pretty much everybody has heard of search dogs finding lost people, or seen a movie where the bad guys or the good guys are being trailed by a pack of slavering bloodhounds.
"RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!!" Hahaha. Love that line. Bloodhounds are really sweet, by the way, and they have these wonderful wrinkles on their muzzles to help hold the scent near their noses. But, I digress.

We humans came up with a dog sport called Tracking, where the dog follows a human scent trail and finds dropped "articles" along the way. This simulates the work of a police dog following the trail of a person and finding personal items dropped along the way. The dog is given the scent of the "missing person" (in this case - the tracklayer) by having an article, such as a glove or a sock, at the start of the track. The dog wears a harness and the handler follows behind the dog on a long line as the dog follows the footstep scent trail of the tracklayer.

One of the best things about tracking is that it's free! Any age and any breed of dog can do it. You can track on your own or track with a group. Tracking people often join Tracking Clubs to meet other people with the same interests. Clubs help with training and they put on Tracking Tests. It's grand fun!

Tracking in the snow is fun!
Champion Tracker Belgian Sheepdog "Malibu" on her way to her VST title (Variable Surface Tracking)
Children can track with their dogs, too. At the Mohonk Tracking Fields in New Paltz NY.